Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 365, 915-928 (2006/January-3)
The Butcher-Oemler effect at z∼ 0.35: a change in perspective.
ANDREON S., QUINTANA H., TAJER M., GALAZ G. and SURDEJ J.
Abstract (from CDS):
In this paper we focus on the much debated Butcher-Oemler effect: the increase with redshift of the fraction of blue galaxies in clusters. Considering a representative cluster sample made of seven groups/clusters at z∼ 0.35, we have measured the blue fraction from the cluster core to the cluster outskirts and the field mainly using wide-field Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory images. This sample represents a random selection of a volume complete X-ray selected cluster sample, selected so that there is no physical connection with the studied quantity (blue fraction), to minimize observational biases. In order to statistically assess the significance of the Butcher-Oemler effect, we introduce the tools of Bayesian inference. Furthermore, we have modified the blue fraction definition in order to take into account the reduced age of the Universe at higher redshifts, because we should no longer attempt to reject an unphysical universe in which the age of the Universe does depend on redshift, whereas the age of its content does not. We have measured the blue fraction from the cluster centre to the field and we find that the cluster affects the properties of the galaxies up to two virial radii at z∼ 0.35. Data suggest that during the last 3 Gyr no evolution of the blue fraction, from the cluster core to the field value, is seen beyond that needed to account for the varying age with the redshift of the Universe and of its content. The agreement of the radial profiles of the blue fraction at z= 0 and z∼ 0.35 implies that the pattern infall did not change over the last 3 Gyr, or, at least, its variation has no observational effect on the studied quantity.
2005 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2005 RAS
galaxies: clusters: general - galaxies: evolution
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